Who Are We?
Glasshouse Christian College is a Prep to Year 12 Independent School located in the iconic Glasshouse Mountains on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland Australia. We are committed to providing a high quality of education (within a Christian context), where students grow in faith and knowledge. On top of a rigorous academic suite of ‘traditional’ subject offerings, we are particularly interested in what Education should look like in the future (5, 10, 20 years). How can we best prepare students for their futures in careers that currently do not exist, where the focus will not be what one knows, but what skills one has to acquire knowledge and apply it effectively?
What is the DeLorean Project?
The DeLorean Project’s original and continuing mandate is to provide Year 10 students with the opportunity to engage in authentic, student-directed learning. The goal has always been to develop within students the capacity to work collaboratively, think innovatively and contribute to the world genuinely.
Every project that runs in the DeLorean Project must be negotiated by students with Facilitators. Each student/group must justify their projects through the eyes of the DeLorean Spheres (above); articulating the problem that needs solving, showing how an entrepreneurial mindset will help to solve the problem, and leveraging technology to solve the problem.
In terms of skill acquisition, the initial iteration of the DeLorean Project used the University of Melbourne’s framework (above left) from The Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (Binkley et al, 2012), basic design procedures and cooperative learning structures.
In our second year we have moved to a more formal construct that has mapped the 21st Century Skills to ACARA’s General Capabilities, which allowed us to produce the DeLorean Skill Set.
Our second year has proven to be very successful so far and now includes the following:
- assessable criteria and development of the DeLorean Skill Set based on the General Capabilities (as stated within ACARA)
- refined DeLorean Spheres to provide a more streamlined focus for student projects
- use of Lean Startup to provide a structured approach to project development
- use of AusIdentities to assist students in identifying their personality types and learning styles
- upskilling in Cooperative Learning Structures
- continued partnership with USC (including new projects with two new schools within the
- Nursing and Mental Health fields of study)
- inauguration of the DeLorean coffee van project.
For the explicit teaching of skills, one of the frameworks we use is call ‘Aus Identities’. This is an Australian startup that has taken the Myers-Briggs personality types and tests, and reframed them into 4 Australian animal metaphors. All people are all personality types some of the time, but will default to one dominant personality type most of the time, especially when under pressure or stress. The better our young people understand themselves and how the interact with other people and their environment, the more successful they will be at working in teams, dealing with conflict and navigating the challenges of engaging in a social community/society.
An effective entrepreneurial mindset allows a person to get a solution/idea from their brain, into something tangible, and then into themarket as quickly, cheaply and as effectively as possible. The Lean Startup framework is a perfect way to do this. Using a ‘Build, Measure, Learn’ cycle, the Lean Startup suggests that feedback from the market (consumers/clients) is the most effective way to test the validity of a solution/idea. The faster you can get a solution/idea to market and receive feedback, the higher the chance that the solution/idea will gain traction as you either persevere if the market is positive, or you pivot and change direction if the market is negative. One of the concepts of the Lean Startup is the Minimal Viable Product, or MVP. An MVP is the simplest most cost effective version of a solution/idea that has the unique function you intend the ‘full-blown’ solution/idea to have, but without any ‘bells and whistles’ (it may not even look that good if it is a prototype of a product or service). It is created at spending as littel money as possible. However, if it has a unique function that solves a problem in the market, then the market will want it, and you can be confident in then iterating on the MVP and transforming it into something more significant. The more you test the market throughout the development of an MVP, the more chance there is of success.
At every juncture, the DeLorean Project’s mission is to provide students with the skills they will need to navigate their voyage through the 21st century.
- To enhance students’ capacity to become better thinkers and learners, with a focus on collaborative learning and critical thinking.
- Collaborative Learning involves communication (stating ideas, taking turns, clarifying differences), empathy (listening, constructive criticism, understanding others) and accountability (accepting responsibility and sharing tasks).
- Critical Thinking involves questioning, problem-solving and reflection.
- To improve students’ attitudes towards learning and their own perceived engagement in a “school setting’.
- To better prepare students for their future, which involves the functional and contextual use of literacy, numeracy and Information and Communication Technology.
Why Call it The DeLorean Project?
Naming this project came with as many provisos, caveats, loopholes, perils and calamities as naming a child. We didn’t want to be obvious and, therefore, copycat with names like ‘The Project’. We didn’t want to be generic. We wanted to be relevant and have a forward thinking connotation. We wanted something that engendered and created its own air of mystery; something that made people go ‘Ahhhhh!’ when they got it.
‘The DeLorean Project’ was born shortly after Back to the Future Day – October 21st, 2015. Our ideas were starting to take solid shape and the concept of a workable, negotiated learning project was going to happen. All we needed was a name. To us, it was like a bolt from the blue. The DeLorean, in the ‘Back to the Future’ movie trilogy, was the vehicle that brought about change, paved the way for the future, inspired people with the possibilities for the future and hey, who wasn’t excited at the prospect of hoverboards! The DeLorean was a great catalyst for transformation, a vehicle for opportunities and, ultimately, the perfect metaphor for our program. The parallels of innovation, creativity, collaboration and design that can be drawn between the ‘Back to the Future’ movies and our DeLorean Project are unending.
Doc’s final statement to Marty and Jennifer, at the end of Back to the Future Part 3, when Jennifer questions the disappearing text on a page she brought back from the future summarises our vision for the project beautifully…
“It means that your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So, make it a good one.” Dr Emmett Brown